Water System Update

Here is an update to the status of the Camanche Water System as it pertains to PFAS.


Well #5, which is currently Camanche's only deep well, has been operating as the main water supply for the city since June of 2023. Test results show that there is no detectible levels of PFAS in that water source. Additional testing from within the network has shown that there is no detectible PFAS in the system. Well #5 still needs a pump upgrade. We are currently using a temporary pump until a new one can be installed. 


Our two shallow wells remain on line in case of an emergency. These wells do have detectible PFAS. When Well #5 has the pump installed, these two shallow wells will come back on line to supply water for the City. We will alert the public when this will happen. As of now, it looks like January will be the timeframe for this process. Please review the FAQ portion of this page so that you can make informed decisions concerning water usage during that timeframe.


The City will be setting out for bid a proposal for digging two new deep wells. This process should begin in the spring of 2024. As of now, the proposed sites are the current location of our existing water tower near old City Hall, and on 3 acres of city property at the end of 14th Street and Edens Avenue.


When the permanent pump is in place for Well #5, the digging of the new well at the 14th Street location will begin. After the new well at 14th street is online, the two shallow wells will be capped so the PFAS wells will no longer be connected to our system. After the wells are capped, the third well off of 2nd Street will begin digging. Once completed, the two new wells will be the main water source and Well #5 will revert to backup status.


Funding for all of this work is through a negotiated agreement with 3M, whom the EPA directed to correct this problem. In the end, the estimate is $4M to $6M in infrastructure upgrades for the water users. There is also negotiation with 3M about connecting residents within 200ft of existing infrastructure to the City water supply at 3M's expense if the users are on private or sand point wells. We expect some finalized version of that soon.


City staff has been hard at work resolving a lot of the issues and stumbling blocks along the way. We appreciate your patience during this process and we hope to have the entire situation resolved completely soon. 

Public Meeting with EPA Scheduled

A public meeting was held on April 20, 2023 which featured representatives from the EPA, the Iowa DNR, The City of Camanche and 3M concerning PFAS in the Camanche water supply. The meeting was live streamed and is available for viewing on our youtube channel. You can find that link below. Available here is the slide show presentation from the EPA. We thank everyone for their participation.

EPA Slide Show presentation 4-20-23
EPA Camanche.mtg.4.20.23.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [3.2 MB]
2023 04 20 PFAS Public Notice_PUBLIC AVA[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [126.6 KB]

Frequently Asked Questions about PFAS

Letter concerning PFAS and Sand Point Wells in Camanche 3-9-23
PFAS and Sand Point letter -final.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [134.8 KB]
EPA Press Release 11-3-22
This is the press release concerning the EPA's agreement with 3M to treat drinking water near the Cordova facility.
2022-11-03 3M Agrees to EPA Order to Sam[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [231.8 KB]
City of Camanche Press Release November 7, 2022
This is the City of Camanche press release concerning the 3M / EPA agreement released on November 3, 2022.
press release 11-7-22.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [179.2 KB]
Order on Consent
This is the Administrative Order on Consent between the EPA and 3M.
Highlighted Final.signed.AOC SDWA 1431.3[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [616.4 KB]
PFAS Health Advisory 9-16-2022
PFAS Health Advisory.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [129.9 KB]

National Academy of Science Info

The National Acedemy of Science Engineering & Medicine released a report in 2021 concerning PFAS and health. This is a non-governmental agency which conducted a scientific study making recommendations concerning PFAS in water and the long term health effects. Below is a link to their site. You can dowload a version of the report from there. They will also allow you to order a paper copy of the report for a certain fee. The City recommends each consumer consult their personal physician when it comes to the consumption of water containing PFAS. There is no direction from the EPA concerning consumption or use at this time. If there is a change in that status, the City of Camanche will notify its customers directly.

What are PFAS? PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a family of manufactured chemicals that have been used in commercial and industrial processes since the 1940s. They are found in a variety of household products like non-stick cookware, carpets, clothing, fabrics for furniture, food packaging, and stain and water repellants. They are also used as a fire suppressant in firefighting foams.  PFAS are often referred to in the media as “forever chemicals” because PFAS break down very slowly, and they tend to accumulate in the environment over time.


Why types of PFSA are there? PFAS refers to a family of chemicals primarily made of carbon and fluorine. To date, more than 9000 different types of PFAS chemicals have been identified. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) are two of the most widely used and studied PFAS chemicals. PFOA and PFOS are very persistent in the environment and in the human body. This means they do not break down, and they can accumulate over time. Since 2002, PFOA and PFOS have been voluntarily phased out by industry and are no longer manufactured in the United States.  Some products imported into the United States may still contain PFOA and PFOS. Other types of PFAS, such as GenX and PFBS, are still produced and used throughout our economy.


How can I reduce my exposure to PFAS in drinking water? Individuals who are concerned about PFAS in their drinking water may consider in-home water treatment filters that are certified to lower the levels of PFAS in water. Certain reverse osmosis and activated carbon filters intended for in-home use can be very effective at lowering the levels of PFAS found in water. More information about in-home water treatment devices certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) to remove PFAS can be found here: https://www.nsf.org/consumer-resources/articles/pfoa-pfos-drinking-water


Should I drink bottled water? The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not recommending bottled water for communities like Camanche.  It should also be noted that bottled water is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (US FDA), not the US EPA. To date, the US FDA has not established standards for PFAS in bottled water. In fact, some studies have shown that bottled water can also contain PFAS.


Can PFAS be boiled out of my water? No. PFAS cannot be removed by heating or boiling water.


Is my water safe for bathing and showering? Based on the current understanding of human health risks of PFAS, it is safe to shower and bathe in PFAS-containing water. Studies have shown only a small amount of PFAS can get into your body from skin contacting PFAS-containing water. Also, most PFAS do not evaporate into the air from water readily. Accordingly, neither routine showering nor bathing are considered a significant source of PFAS exposure.


Is my water safe for swimming? Typical contact with the water while occasionally swimming should not be a health concern. This is because only a small amount of PFAS can get into your body from skin contacting PFAS-containing water and only small amounts of water may be accidentally swallowed while swimming.  While swimming, it is important to avoid, as much as possible, accidentally swallowing water.  If you have young children, you should monitor them while they’re in the water to limit the amount of water they swallow. You should also limit time in the water if your skin has cuts, abrasions, or open wounds.


Is it safe to water my garden? PFAS can get into your garden plants if they are grown in soil or water containing PFAS. PFAS in water can be taken up by the plant roots and move to other parts of the plant, including its fruits or vegetables. The types and amount of PFAS taken up into a plant depends on several factors including the types and amount of PFAS in the water and soil, the type of soil, and the type of plant. Based on the current understanding of human health risks of PFAS, eating garden plants containing small amounts of PFAS is considered a minor source of PFAS exposure relative to other exposure routes.


Should I stop breastfeeding my infant? The World Health Organization, U.S. Surgeon General, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among others, believe the advantages of breastfeeding greatly outweigh the potential risks in nearly every circumstance. The US EPA encourages women and people who are currently pregnant, nursing, or bottle feeding an infant with formula to consult with their physician regarding concerns related to breastfeeding and potential exposure to chemicals such as PFAS.


Sourcing/Other resources to share:

NIEHS: https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/pfc/

EPA: https://www.epa.gov/pfas/our-current-understanding-human-health-and-environmental-risks-pfas

EPA: https://www.epa.gov/sdwa/questions-and-answers-drinking-water-health-advisories-pfoa-pfos-genx-chemicals-and-pfbs

ATSDR: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/health-effects/exposure.html

State of Massachusetts: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/pfas-and-swimming#can-i-swim-in-water-that-may-have-pfas-levels-above-a-safe-level-in-drinking-water?-how-can-i-limit-my-exposure-while-swimming?

State of Wisconsin: https://dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/p03111.pdf

City of Camanche

Our business hours

Monday - Friday08:00 AM - 04:00 PM

818 7th Avenue
P.O. Box 77
Camanche, Iowa 52730


563-259-9025  FAX

Spring Newsletter 2024
Spring Newsletter 2024.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [449.0 KB]

Quick Facts

Population: 4,570
County: Clinton
Median Household Income: $50,804
Median Home Price: $119,800
Median Age: 43.8




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